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Aston Villa sign Shay Given
Alex McLeish has made his first signing for Aston Villa bringing in Shay Given while Arsenal sign striker Gervinho.
Last Modified: 18 Jul 2011 21:04
Goalkeeper Shay Given joined Manchester City from Newcastle United in 2009 [GALLO/GETTY] 

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given from Manchester City on a five-year contract, the Premier League club said on Monday.

The 35-year-old Given had slipped behind England's Joe Hart in the pecking order at City and played only a handful of first-team matches last season.

"Aston Villa is a huge football club and I'm really excited to be joining," Given told the club's website.

"I'm looking forward to training and playing with the players here. They're a good bunch of lads, very talented and I know several of them already which will help."

Given made his name during 12 years at Newcastle United in which he made over 400 appearances before joining City in 2009 for around $9,600,000.
 
Villa, whose first-choice keeper Brad Friedel moved to Tottenham Hotspur at the end of last season, paid around $5.6 million for Given, according to newspaper reports.

Given, Ireland's most capped player with 113 international appearances became Villa manager Alex McLeish's first signing since taking over last month.

 Gervinho celebrates scoring for the Ivory Coast during the 2008 Olympic Games [GALLO/GETTY] 

"Everybody who has watched him perform over many years in the Premier League will know his pedigree, so we believe we have secured the services of one of the best goalkeepers in the business," McLeish said.

While Aston Villa strengthened their defence, Premier League rivals Arsenal added to their attack.

The London side completed the signing of Ivory Coast striker Gervinho from Lille on Monday.

The 24-year-old forward arrives at Arsenal fresh from helping Lille win a French league and cup double.

"Gervinho is a player that can play in a number of positions up front," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

"He can play on the right, on the left and through the middle. He has qualities that I find very important, like his movement off the ball. He has the qualities we like technically.

"He is good one against one, he is strong and was the best provider in the French league."

Gervinho scored 28 goals in 67 appearances over two years for Lille.

Arsenal announced that Gervinho had signed a "long-term contract," while the British media widely reported that the transfer fee was $17.5 million.

"I'm very happy to have the chance to work with Arsene Wenger," Gervinho said.

"I came here because I believe that he can improve my game and help me reach another level, but the most important thing for me is that I bring a lot to the team for whom I'm playing."

Source:
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